Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Portuguese researchers turn radio waves into energy

Project of the University of Aveiro allows remote function without batteries

In Portugal viewers annually spend about 3 to 4 million batteries to change channel sitting on the couch. The scenario is about to change because Alírio Bonaventure, researcher at Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), University of Aveiro (UA) developed a command of television that does not need batteries or batteries to operate.
Although the remote control prototype is being tested on a TV, can be applied to stereos, DVD players, TV boxes to or even of air conditioning and garage doors, allowing work forever without requiring cells.

It consists only of a circuit board and, for now, by four buttons that allow you to change channel and adjust the volume. The secret is in the remote antenna converting energy. This has the ability to convert DC electricity into radio waves emitted by an RFID reader preinstalled on TV. The DC energy captured is used to power the electronic remote control. To communicate with the TV remote control modulates and reflects part of the radio energy received . At this stage reenters the RFID reader which decodes the information received the command, which may be, for example, a request to change the channel or adjusting the volume.

"A possible model to exploit this technology undergoes future, incorporating the radio system (RFID) devices such as televisions. Alternatively, and to ensure compatibility with equipment already installed, a radio frequency to infrared adapter can be used, "said Alirio Bonaventure.

The command is one of the most visible faces of the work that researchers have developed in recent years in the area of ​​radio capture and conversion into electricity. In laboratory tests, IT also has an antenna which is not limited to collect radio signals: reconverts them into electric energy which can be used immediately or stored for later use.

The antenna, which in appearance is not much different from those normally used to capture TV signals when placed near a radio relay, can convert the electromagnetic signal in a direct electric current able to connect two LED bulbs. And the more power you have the relay, elcétrica more power can be achieved.

Along the transmission source that researchers have used to test the prototype circuit developed produces a voltage of about 10 volts. The 1.5 kilometers away from the antenna relay, the prototype achieves 3 volts.

Future without batteries

The results are promising: "If it was next to the TV aerial of Mount Virgin in Gaia, would call for much more than two LEDs," says Nuno Borges Carvalho, IT researcher and one of those responsible for the advances that the AU has done in the study of a loaf energy hovering in the air waiting to be tapped.

"This principle can be applied to any type of electromagnetic emission, either FM radio, TV, Wi-Fi or GSM, which allows, in the future, you can come to charge the battery of mobile devices without being dependent on a single frequency, "says Nuno Borges Carvalho. "All radio frequency signals that are in the air that can be harvested and converted into electricity," said the guardian.

"Currently the vast proliferation of radio systems gave rise to a new form of alternative energy that can be recycled and reused in low-power systems," adds Alírio Bonaventure.

If today the converted energy from the radio waves is not enough to operate devices with high energy requirement such as a computer, in the nearest future IT wants it can feed sensors with low power consumption reduced or sporadic.

"With this technology will be possible, for example, create car keys that are always collecting power radio communications and spend only when they are used. The concept can also be useful for creating environmental sensors, alarms, flashlights or even provide energy 'free' public lighting located within a radius around the radio relay station, "anticipates Nuno Borges Carvalho. "In either case we have the advantage of avoiding the use of batteries or electricity from the public," says the researcher.

1 comment:

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